On day two of the Summit we noticed a brand new sign over the church entrance. We were pretty sure it wasn't there the day before. And we were right.
Churches aren't allowed to have signs like this but they were given permission for this event...and permission to keep it up after the event.
It might be because they have taken two of the most garbage strewn streets in Old Havana and cleaned them up. Or it might be because they feed 50 kids every day out of their own money in cooperation with the government. Who knows. But they are making a difference and people know it.
On day one police arrived just before the conference started and some of us were concerned. But the reason for their visit was that the pastor had told them to come by and check things out. At the end of the day, two police received packets of books and a Bible. The next day six more showed up and were very happy to receive their Bibles. Their pastor is a visionary leader with heart to bring spiritual transformation to Cuba and train leaders who will multiply themselves, but it all begins with the neighborhood right outside their doors.
The Los Pinos Nuevos (New Pines) is an indigenous denomination named after a speech given by the island's most revered literary and historical figure, Jose Marti, who lived in the second half of the nineteenth century. Marti was a poet, journalist and activist against colonial rule who lived most of his life in exile.